Packing Lunches and Eating on the Go

Lately, as I adjust to working at a new job, with new hours, my time in the kitchen cooking has decreased exponentially. I now eat most of my meals at work or on the go, which can make it pretty challenging since I am used to cooking almost every meal. When thinking about it, I realized that a lot of my readers probably deal with the same issues of what to take, making time to pack food, and most importantly, planning ahead. So came this blog post πŸ™‚

Once starting the job, it definitely took me a while to get into a routine and to force myself to pack substantial meals and snacks to carry with me to work. Now, I’m starting to plan a little more and to make sure I have the right foods in the house for packing. Packing not only saves you a ton of money, but it allows you to make healthier choices. Packing a healthy, filling lunch to have on hand will make you less likely to hit up the street carts for food, or head to a local restaurant where you could end up spending a ton of money every day, and end up eating a ton of unnecessary calories. I also try to carry my lunches in a reusable lunch bag, along with packing my food in reusable containers. This is a great way to go green and save a ton of money on those little Ziplock bags.

I will be honest, I’m not that great at planning ahead, but I am getting better about it. In my first month at the new job, I have definitely turned to more convenience foods because they are easy to grab and go and don’t require a lot of prep work. I suspect this will begin to change a little each week and soon I will be a lunch-packing pro πŸ™‚

For now, this is what most of my meals look like…

Breakfast usually varies between the following..

Sprouted grain toast with almond butter, blueberries, and banana

Green Smoothie

Overnight Oats (bad picture, but great for a quicky breakfast!)

Lunches depend on if I have planned ahead and how much time I have in the morning to throw something together. This category needs some work..

Vegan Split Pea Soup

I've been trying to pre-make brown rice to have on hand to add to meals. I usually add a serving to the split pea soup or just top the rice with beans and veggies for a quick lunch.

Veggie Burgers are easy to heat up, throw in a wrap, or on top of salads.

Tofurky slices make for easy and quick sandwiches, wraps, and salads!

Salads! Really any combination of greens, veggies, beans, nuts, etc will do. Always with a homemade dressing of olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs πŸ™‚

Snacks are something I am getting better at keeping on hand. I usually need something in the afternoon to keep me energized….and from eating my arm off before dinner. Most of the time, I try to keep nuts on hand because they are easy to carry in my purse and don’t require any utensils or messy dishes. Raw almonds, cashews, peanuts, and wasabi peas are my go-to mix for a serving of protein and healthy fats to keep me feeling satisfied until dinner time. However, I do switch it up a bit every now and then with a few of these healthy morsels..

Oven Roasted Almonds with Sea Salt

Blue Diamond makes a container with serving measurements on it. This is a plus for me because it keeps me aware of how much I am eating. I literally could probably eat the entire container otherwise!

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Luna Bar is the jam

Think Thin Chunky Peanut Butter Bar

Multigrain popcakes with almond or peanut butter

So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt

Other items not pictured include apples and carrots with hummus.

Like I said, planning ahead is key to the art of brown bagging. Here are a few suggestions:
*Cook extra portions at dinner. Leftovers are great to take for lunch the following day.
*Pre-cook items on Sunday. Make up a few servings of cooked vegetables, salads, brown rice (or other grain), soups, beans, and lean protein items, such as chicken, turkey, tofu, or fish. This will make packing lunches a breeze and will help with keeping a variety throughout the week. You don’t want to end up eating canned soup or turkey sandwiches every day.
*Plan for snacks. We all do it, it’s inevitable, so why not plan for it? Having an afternoon snack is normal, but try to keep it healthy so you are satisfied, but not getting a sugar spike shortly after having it. Fruits, veggies, whole grain crackers, protein and energy bars, and nuts, all make great, energizing snacks.

All packed up and ready to go!

Do you pack your lunch? What does it normally look like? Feel free to share your own tips!


5 thoughts on “Packing Lunches and Eating on the Go

  1. I hope your new job is going well, Trace! I try and pack my lunch everyday, but I’m not so good at planning ahead. When I do plan ahead, some of my favorites to pack are:

    * TJ’s pre-cooked, individually portioned steel cut oats w/ brown sugar (have you tried these?!)
    * Puffins rice cereal dry as a snack
    * Just Mango Slices (TJ’s)
    * almonds
    * sugar snap peas
    * sauteed squash and zucchini w/ brown rice topped with marinara (random but good and easy to make lots ahead of time!)
    * brown rice, black beans, chopped tomatoes, and cilantro w/ salsa

    • Thanks for the suggestions Ash! I haven’t tried the individual packs of steel cut oats, but I will definitely give them a try. I love oats, but never have time to make them in the morning!Oh and the Just Mango slices are incredible!!

  2. I’m so predictable when it comes to lunch, but I am definitely a packer. It usually varies between leftovers, salad, a sandwich, or a mishmash of things like fruit, crackers, and string cheese.

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